A solid charger with a couple odd shortcomings
While it isn't exactly a given just yet, it seems as though more mobile devices than ever are getting on-board with the Qi wireless charging standard. And as the number of devices that are compatible grows, so does the number of charging accessories. Google sells its own Nexus Wireless Charger for $49, but a handful of other manufacturers are coming in under that price with their own offerings.
RAVPower is one of the latest, and its $39 charger is now available on Amazon trying to make a case for its existence among the many other players. Hang with us after the break to take a quick look at this new Qi charger.
First and foremost, the RAVPower Qi charger works just the same as any other QI standardized charger. You plug it into the wall, place a Qi device on the pad and it charges wirelessly through corresponding coils in the charger and device. Nothing has really changed in RAVPower's implementation — phone or tablet placement still matters, with the charger's coil basically being in the center, and it'll take longer to charge wirelessly than with a cable.
There aren't any magnets in the RAVPower charger, but it does have a small grippy circle pad in the middle where your phone or tablet rests. Unfortunately the pad isn't all that grippy, and our Nexus 5 could easily spin around when we used it while on the charger. We never felt like the phone was going to fall off, but we really would prefer if the pad was a bit larger or had more grip to it.
On the other side of the charger, you'll find four hard plastic feet that keep it stable on whatever surface you plan on charging. Again these little nubs don't offer enough friction to keep the charger firmly planted on any hard surface, and paired with the extreme lightness of the charger it just doesn't stay put. It's nothing that a bit of double-sided tape or a few weights couldn't fix, but that's something the manufacturer should have figured out, not us.
The charger offers an output of 1A (at 5V), which is on par with other Qi chargers and seems to power up our devices at the same rate as others as well. When you place a phone or tablet on the charger you get a reassuring (if a bit loud) beep that charging has initiated as well, which is nice. You'll also see a flashing LED on the front indicating continued charging.
At $39, it's hard to say that the RAVPower Qi charger is worth the money over any other comparable charger at the same price point. Although it works just fine, it has a few shortcomings in terms of keeping the device planted to it and keeping itself planted to the table, which are pretty important factors in a wireless charger. If you're looking for a solid charger with a bit larger footprint than average the RAVPower may be for you, but there are better options out there for about the same price.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.